A CONTEST between cricketers and footballers has influenced plans to build a new 3G football pitch at an Oxford School.

Cherwell School wants to place a new 3G pitch on a field east of its site on Marston Ferry Road.

The new pitch would replace a full-size grass football pitch and also result in a cricket square being moved if it went ahead.

The school has applied to Oxford City Council for planning permission to build the high-tech synthetic turf pitch.

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A design and access statement supporting the application, written by S and C Slater, said the new pitch would 'contribute to the improvement of sporting facilities for curriculum and community sport at and will result in considerable benefit to students and local community clubs and groups through the provision of an enhanced sports facility'.

It added there was a need for 'enhanced facilities' for the local community and well as students attending The Cherwell School' in the area, which the new pitch would provide.

According to the statement, the new pitch would also support two local football clubs, Summertown Stars and Mansfield Road, 'in their growth and development' in future years.

But it also acknowledged there had been some concerns from national sporting body Sport England about how the new pitch would replace old sporting facilities.

Correspondence from Sport England in the design statement said the England and Wales Cricket Board had 'raised serious concerns about the relocation of the cricket square and its reduction to four wickets instead of six'.

It added: They state that four wickets for fine turf is insufficient to whereas six wickets are the minimum number for fine turf wickets to support cricket during a season."

To mitigate this 'a replacement non-turf cricket pitch' has been added to the plans.

Along with the pitch, there are also plans for floodlights, equipment stores, and vehicle access to the Marston Ferry Road site.

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The plans are currently available to view on the Oxford City Council website by searching teh reference 20/03194/FUL on the planning portal.

Design images show the current field replaced by the new state of the art facility, which could be used flexibly as either a full-sized pitch, or as two smaller, half-sized pitches instead.

There are currently no public comments on the plans as they have only recently been published.

But there is an archaeological survey, which describes how historic earthworks from old cricket squares were found using Time Team-style technology.